29 August 2006

Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha or Ganapati is an extremely popular God in India. One of his many names is Vigneswara, the destroyer of obstacles. People mostly worship Him asking for success in undertakings and also so that they may gain greater intelligence. Lord Ganesha is worshipped before any venture is started. He is also the God of education, knowledge, wisdom, literature and the fine arts.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a day on which Lord Ganesha makes his presence known on earth for all his devotees; the day is also termed as, Vinayaka Chaturthi, (it is not the birthday of Lord Ganesha!).

The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on the fourth day of the waxing moon period. It typically comes sometime between 20th of August and 15th of September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi. This year the final day falls on August 29th.

On the last day, i.e. Ganesha Chaturthi, final puja is undertaken and this particular idol seems to be patiently awaiting his final procession to the tank for immersion.

When taking Ganapati for immersion one should also bring such things as: curd, puffed rice, coconut, modak, as provision for the journey. In this picture you can see a whole procession of idols on their way to various tanks for immersion you will also be able to see the Raja Gopuram of the Arunachaleswarar Temple in the background.

Here are some very excited kids travelling on the float with one of the Ganesha idols

And here is one of the aarti trays the youths are carrying along with them to offer to spectators on the side of the street.

This is the Tamari Nagar tank waiting for some of those idols to reach. Arunachala is in the background.

And here at the corner of the tank the immersion of the statues begins. Beside the banks of the flowing water where the idol is to be immersed, one should perform aarti (waving of lighted camphor) once again and then release the idol along with the provisions into the water. After immersion it is customary to bring home the earth from that place and to sprinkle it all over the house.



Divyakka said...

Great pics, thanks! I remember Ganesh festival was a wonderful, happy time in India, everyone seemed to be in such a good mood. Bright colors and faces were everywhere.

Arunachala Living said...

We all LOVE that fat, little elephant headed one. Gorgeous.